At The Optimist Daily, we’ve written about the benefits of various indoor hobbies like tackling a jigsaw puzzle or getting crafty with painting. However, if puzzles confound you and painting doesn’t call to you, then perhaps you can stitch your stress away instead by trying out knitting and crocheting. Here are five positive effects that knitting and crocheting can have on your health.
Boost happiness and confidence
Knitting and crocheting, like all artsy activities, will help you cultivate your imagination and foster your creative side. Learning something new and completing projects will also reinforce your ability to get things done, which in turn will boost self-confidence and life satisfaction. As an added bonus, knitters and crocheters can proudly wear or use the garments and accessories they create, unlike other art forms that are only meant to be visually pleasing.
Calm the mind
Learning and teaching how to knit and crochet are both associated with a sense of calm. Both student and teacher develop patience and a feeling of self-worth while increasing a sense of social inclusion, three key elements for improved mental health.
There is a big social aspect to knitting and crocheting that can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation while strengthening personal relationships. Sharing this pastime with a friend or family member will help boost social connections, especially because it’s an activity that is affordable and accessible to most people.
However, even if you decide to pick up knitting on your own, there is a wider community that you will interact with at a local level (like when you visit your neighborhood yarn shops) and on a global level (like joining online knitting groups on social media platforms, or taking part in an online crochet-with-me course).
Improve your health
Knitting and crocheting have been linked to many health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, slowing down the effects of dementia, limiting the symptoms of arthritis, and distracting from chronic pain. The repetitive acts of counting stitches, coordinating your hands, and practicing your fine motor skills stimulate the logical part of the brain and help improve issues with mobility.
The repetitive motions of knitting and crocheting can also be used as a mindfulness activity, much like yoga or meditation. This can boost emotional wellbeing by helping you reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression while fostering relaxation and concentration.